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Combat Change Resistance with these 3 Questions

Do you sleep on the same side of the bed every night? What if you moved over to the other side and tried to sleep there? If it feels weird, that's because it's familiar and comfortable, and your brain doesn't want to change!

If even switching the side of the bed you sleep on bothers you, can you imagine how much organisational change will affect you?

It's easy to get frazzled by change and let it take over your emotions, but you can take a minute to ask yourself some questions:

1. Why am I bothered by this change? 2. What do I think will happen as a result of this change? 3. Are these thoughts accurate and realistic?

Going through these questions can help you determine if the change is really something worth worrying about, or if your mind is just a little scrambled and overwhelmed by the change taking place.

Factors such as poor communication between management and team can aggravate this resistance reaction. For example, there might be a lack of clear explanations, causing people to grow flustered and worried about their standing in the organization. This drives people to resist the change strongly. Without enough information, terms like 'restructuring', 'streaming lining' and 'cost reduction' can make an employee feel concerned about losing their roles to changes like downsizing, layoffs and outsourcing. Before, during and after the change process, people have to be kept updated on their situation and be pre-empted on the various ways they might be affected, both good and bad.

When you have accurately identified the reason for your personal resistance to change, the next step is to really think about whether or not your fears and annoyance are warranted. A lot of the times, we humans are creatures of habit, and we prefer to stick to things that make us feel safe and comfortable. When change happens, people can lash out in fear - fear for their incomes, their jobs and how it affects their family. When you are clouded with fear, it's difficult for you to take in new information about change. It's like your mind has been kicked into overdrive, and you become paralysed.

It is of paramount importance that fear be made extinct among the team before even thinking about taking the next step. This is why whenever you start feeling the negative thoughts and resistance bubble, you should stop and run yourself through those 3 questions first.

If the issue persists after thinking through the series of questions logically, then you can consider speaking to management as it shows that either you need some clarification, or there is actually an issue that needs to be addressed. Learn how to you can lead the change


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